It’s great to be back on track
By Racing Queensland Chief
The Queensland racing industry has done a phenomenal job banding together to navigate this challenging period.
As restrictions continue to ease, Racing Queensland is doing all that it can to work with the Government – and its health agencies – to restore normalcy to our racing participants and clubs.
Accordingly, patrons are now permitted to return to Queensland racecourses following the approval of an Industry COVID Safe Plan.
Having sought and received approval through Queensland Health, a staged return to on-course activities commenced across the state from Monday, June 22.
In line with the Queensland Government’s Roadmap to easing restrictions, clubs who opt-in to the racing industry’s COVID Safe Plan will be permitted 20 patrons per designated area during stage two.
This will increase to 100 patrons per designated area during stage three.
In order to be compliant with the COVID Safe Plan, clubs will be required to meet a range of guidelines including the segregation of licensed participants from patrons and social distancing measures including no more than one person per 4 square metres in each designated area.
Importantly, each race club will need to conduct its own site assessment to determine how many designated areas it can make available to patrons.
Clubs who elect not to opt-in to the racing industry’s COVID Safe Plan will be required to adhere to the conditions contained within the Queensland Government’s Roadmap to easing restrictions.
Further details can be found at www.racingqueensland.com.au.
Superstars eye off Brisbane Cup
While a number of the winter features having been run and won, all eyes are set to turn to the Group 1 Sky Racing Brisbane Cup at Albion Park on July 2.
Last year, Victorian raider Sennachie set a track record en route to claiming the winners’ cheque, and while prizemoney has been reduced this year due to COVID-19, the quality of the field has not been diminished.
Hooked On Scotch and Simon Told Helen are two of the nation’s fastest greyhounds who have arrived chasing glory, while Queensland superstar Oh Mickey looks every chance of securing a home-town win.
The Group 1 TAB Queensland Cup also headlines the meeting.
Since last month’s edition, Kiss And Spin provided Jeff Crawford with his first Group victory in the Flying Amy Classic Final.
There was also success for Peter O’Reilly in the Rockhampton Cup as Shakey Diesel produced a barnstorming run to snatch victory on the line.
He then caused a boilover in the TAB Super Sprinters by defying his 100-1 odds to defeat Hooked On Scotch and Oh Mickey.
In the Group 3 Super Stayers, Velocity Bettina recorded another impressive win after railing through to outlast Classy Ethics.
Race Management Injury Scheme
Finally, the Queensland greyhound industry will continue to enhance its animal welfare practices with the adoption of the Race Meeting Injury Scheme.
Developed following widespread industry consultation, the RMIS is set to provide significant financial support to cover veterinary treatment and rehabilitation costs for greyhounds injured during race meetings or official stewards’ trials.
Where costs exceed $1000 – and RMIS applies – Racing Queensland will provide:
- 100% of the reasonable treatment costs (including the cost of all surgical procedures and associated expenses) for the ‘eligible injury’ up to a maximum RQ payment of $5,500; and
- $50 per week towards the rehabilitation of the greyhound for the duration of the rehabilitation plan prescribed by the veterinarian up to a maximum period of 13 weeks.
Injuries covered under RMIS include bone fractures, tendon and ligament injuries, and any other injury determined to be life-threatening by the on-course veterinarian.
As an organisation, we are continually looking for new ways to enhance our animal welfare activities and this is another important step in the process.
It has been designed to remove any barriers that may exist for Queensland participants to rehabilitate their greyhounds.
In addition to the RMIS, the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission has strengthened its standard operating procedure relating to raceday euthanasia and assessment.
The updated procedure outlines that raceday euthanasia will only be considered by the on-course veterinarian when it would be inhumane not to do so.
Otherwise, an officiating steward will give directions to the person responsible for a greyhound to follow the on-course veterinary advice for treatment of the greyhound which may include:
- To obtain a veterinary assessment and treatment within a prescribed timeframe;
- To provide further pain relief for the animal; and
- To provide evidence to the QRIC stewards that the direction has been followed within the prescribed timeframe.
Injuries covered under the RMIS will be eligible for payment through RQ.